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kabonk
1 Copper

Inspiron 531 won't boot - Help please

Help please!

My Inspiron 531 was frozen up the other day. mouse pointer would move but couldn't click on anything.

Shut it down. When re-started, Power light comes on solid blue

it makes a single beep

Dell splash screen comes up, but never gets the loading bar.

Eventually goes to a black screen that says "No boot devices available

Sata 0: installed

SATA 1: installed

Sata 3: none

sata 4: none"

 

F2 takes me to the setup and F12 takes me to boot menu

On the setup page it says SATA 1 : None

Tried F8 and CTRL-F11, neither did anything.

 

My machine is running Vista home premium. I didn't get, or can't find my oRiginal Dell disk.

I found a Vista restore disk here: http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/windows-vista-recovery-disc-download/

When I run the restore program, when I get to the System recovery options, there is nothing to choose. When I try to load drivers with the hard drive drivers from the Dell site it does not recognize any of them as the correct type.

 

Help please. Thanks,

Mike

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7 Replies

Re: Inspiron 531 won't boot - Help please

When you go to F12 is there an option ot boot to the diagnostics or utility partition? If so & if you can, run the dell diagnostic tests. I'm concerned about the HDD maybe failing (but we hope not).

If that doesn't work you can boot to the Vista disc & then via the command line run this "chkdsk /r c:" without the " "

___________________________________________
Inspiron 11-3180 (late 2018) - A6-9220e, 4GB, 32GB eMMC
Inspiron Micro Desktop (mid 2015) - Celeron, 4GB, 32GB eMMC

Feel free to call me Greggers
jim_survak on Alienware Arena
Other: iPhone XR, iPad Air, Mac mini, Hisses Chromebook (ARM-powered)
Retired and Donated to charity: Inspiron 530, Inspiron Mini 10, Inspiron M5030 (donated to mom, she's a charity case :P), XPS 720 Red & Silver, Venue 8 Pro - Red edition, Inspiron 11-3162
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kabonk
1 Copper

Re: Inspiron 531 won't boot - Help please

From F12 boot menu:

 

CDROM

-4th master: PBDS DVD+/-RW DH-16W1s

Utility partition

 

when I select utility partition, it goes to the black screen and says:

No boot device available

SATA 0: installed

SATA1: Installed

SATA 2: None

SATA 4: None 

 

 

chkdsk /r c: gives the message cannot open volume for direct access

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Re: Inspiron 531 won't boot - Help please

Hm, I see.

Try getting a standalone hard drive diagnostic tool in an .ISO format- this allows you to boot directly to a CD like the Vista disc.
Try to find something like DFT. It may take a couple hours to run (IF it will run) but it should tell us if the HDD is bad.

One other thing to try (if you don't care about losing your data & if you haven't tried it yet) is a clean reinstall of the OS.

___________________________________________
Inspiron 11-3180 (late 2018) - A6-9220e, 4GB, 32GB eMMC
Inspiron Micro Desktop (mid 2015) - Celeron, 4GB, 32GB eMMC

Feel free to call me Greggers
jim_survak on Alienware Arena
Other: iPhone XR, iPad Air, Mac mini, Hisses Chromebook (ARM-powered)
Retired and Donated to charity: Inspiron 530, Inspiron Mini 10, Inspiron M5030 (donated to mom, she's a charity case :P), XPS 720 Red & Silver, Venue 8 Pro - Red edition, Inspiron 11-3162
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jsktx
3 Cadmium

Re: Inspiron 531 won't boot - Help please

When's the last time you changed your CMOS battery?  It could be dead and that's why it's not booting.  The battery is a CR2032 and can be found at any drug store or Walmart.    Instructions for changing the battery are HERE.

Vostro 460 – Intel Core i7 2600 @ 3.4Ghz - 16GB DDR3 @ 1333MHz – Western Digital 500GB SATA 3 SSD – Western Digital 1TB SATA 3 HDD – ASUS GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB DDR5 – 16X DVD-RW – 16X DVD-ROM - Antec 550W PSU - Windows 10 Pro x64 - Dell E2211H Flat Panel Monitor
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kabonk
1 Copper

Re: Inspiron 531 won't boot - Help please

Tried running Seatools for DOS. Said no hard drives found.

 

I don't have or didn't get a dell disc with this. What would the most cost effective fix be? New HDD and request a setup disc from Dell? Any way to try and recover what is on this drive. I have my old desktop out in the garage, use that HDD and then try to repair the bad one?

 

Is windows 7 a big enough improvement to upgrade?

 

Thanks for all the help.

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kabonk
1 Copper

Re: Inspiron 531 won't boot - Help please

Never replaced the 2032 battery. My BIOS clock is still correct. See my previous reply. Is this still worth trying (changing the battery).

 

Thanks for the help!

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jsktx
3 Cadmium

Re: Inspiron 531 won't boot - Help please

I think so.  Doesn't cost but three or four dollars.  My mom's PC had the very same issue and the time and date was still correct.  Put a new battery in and all was good again.  In any case you'll either be up and running or you'll know it wasn't the problem.

Vostro 460 – Intel Core i7 2600 @ 3.4Ghz - 16GB DDR3 @ 1333MHz – Western Digital 500GB SATA 3 SSD – Western Digital 1TB SATA 3 HDD – ASUS GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB DDR5 – 16X DVD-RW – 16X DVD-ROM - Antec 550W PSU - Windows 10 Pro x64 - Dell E2211H Flat Panel Monitor
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